India has 31 lakh NGOs, more than double the number of schools – Utkarsh Anand

World Vision bibles for slum children.

Utkarsh Anand“According to the affidavit filed by the CBI in the Supreme Court Friday, there are a total of around 31 lakh NGOs in 26 states. Karnataka, Odisha and Telangana are still to adduce information about the number of NGOs, so the total number of NGOs will be more than 31 lakh. Besides, more than 82,000 NGOs are registered in seven Union Territories.” – Utkarsh Anand

NGOThese statistics have come to light after the CBI collated information from all states and Union Territories to list NGOs registered under the Societies Registration Act.

The first-ever exercise by the CBI to map registered NGOs has disclosed that India has at least 31 lakh NGOs—more than double the number of schools in the country, 250 times the number of government hospitals, one NGO for 400 people as against one policeman for 709 people.

These statistics, indicating the relative status of education and healthcare infrastructure apart from policing, have come to light after the CBI collated information from all states and Union Territories to list NGOs registered under the Registrar of Societies Delhi.

The CBI has been directed by the Supreme Court to collect information about NGOs and inform whether these NGOs have filed balance sheets, including income-expenditure statements, to ascertain compliance with accountability norms.

According to the affidavit filed by the CBI in the Supreme Court Friday, there are a total of around 31 lakh NGOs in 26 states. Karnataka, Odisha and Telangana are still to adduce information about the number of NGOs, so the total number of NGOs will be more than 31 lakh. Besides, more than 82,000 NGOs are registered in seven Union Territories.

Niti Aayog The total number of schools in the country is around 15 lakh, as per the data compiled by the Planning Commission of India in 2011. The commission had calculated the number of schools, classifying them as primary, upper primary, secondary, lower secondary and higher secondary. The number inheres the peril of duplication since one school building may have primary as well as upper primary schooling — more than one level of education in the same building.

In March 2011, total number of government hospitals in the country was 11,993, with 7.84 lakh beds. Of these, 7,347 hospitals were in rural areas with 1.60 lakh beds and 4,146 hospitals in urban areas with 6.18 lakh beds. The number of NGOs also exceed the number of policemen in the country.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau data in 2014, there were 17.3 lakh policemen across the country, as against a sanctioned India has 31 lakh NGOs, twice the number of schools, 250 times number of govt hospitals strength of 22 lakh. This accounts for one policeman for 709 people. Add 13 lakh armed forces personnel to the number of policemen, and the total number of NGOs will be equal to the combined strength of both.

Among the states, Uttar Pradesh tops the list with more than 5.48 lakh NGOs, followed by Maharashtra which has 5.18 lakh NGOs. Kerala comes third with 3.7 lakh NGOs, followed by West Bengal with 2.34 lakh NGOs. Of the 82,250 NGOs in the Union Territories, Delhi alone has more than 76,000 NGOs.

Registrar of Societies DelhiLess than 10 per cent of the NGOs have complied with the requirement of submitting balance sheets and income-expenditure statements with the Registrar of Societies. Of around 30 lakh NGOs, 2.9 lakh have submitted financial statements.

In Kerala, none of the 3.7 lakh NGOs have filed details since the state law does not mandate it. In Maharashtra and West Bengal, only around 7 per cent of NGOs have been filing such details. Other states also had poor records.

The CBI has told the court it will complete its exercise in the next two months after Karnataka, Odisha and Telangana also furnish the requisite data. Next week, the court will take up the PIL filed by advocate M. L. Sharma who has sought a CBI inquiry into affairs of all the NGOs lacking accountability. – The Indian Express, 1 August 2015

» Utkarsh Anand is the Assistant Editor (Legal) at Indian Express Newspaper, New Delhi.

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2 Responses

  1. Holy See at the United Nations

    Christian NGOs dominate UN, claims report – UCAN India – IANS – London – January 2, 2014

    A recent study has found that Christian non-government organisations (NGOs) dominate the UN while Hindu and Buddhist voluntary organisations remain under-represented at the 193-member organisation, a British daily reported Wednesday.

    The study, undertaken by Jeremy Carrette with colleagues from the University of Kent’s department of religious studies, underlines the need to increase non-Christian representation in world peacemaking, The Guardian reported.

    The Religious NGOs and the United Nations report said that more than 70 percent of religious NGOs at the UN are Christian, and that there is historical privilege in allowing the Vatican a special observer status, as both a state and a religion, the daily said.

    It calls for greater awareness, transparency and equality in the way religious NGOs operate within the UN, and more emphasis on religious tolerance.

    The report also asks for greater understanding of how religions enhance and constrain human rights and provides evidence that funding limits other religious traditions from establishing NGO work at the UN.

    Islam is represented more significantly through the collective of states (the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation) rather than civil society NGOs, which are dominated by Catholic groups, according to the report.

    Funding is major issue in preventing Asian religions, such as Hinduism and Buddhism, equal access, it said.

    “The report highlights that while all religions are represented in some way in the peacemaking system of the UN, there are structural and historical differences that need to be addressed,” Carrette said.

    The report says the number of inter-faith and New Age NGOs is very small, and religious NGOs in total form only 7.29 percent of the total of consultative status NGOs at the UN.

    But despite their small size, some religious NGOs can have a far greater influence, the research suggests. Among the most active religious NGO groups are Catholics, Quakers and the Baha’i faith, which have some of the highest number of meetings with UN diplomats.


  2. World Vision India

    It’s official, Christian missionaries donate billions to Indian NGOs – IBTL – Feb 28, 2012

    What has been asserted time and again by nationalist organisations and has been emphatically refuted by self-proclaimed liberals, is now out in the open. The latest report of the Home Ministry shows that more than Rs 10,000 crore was pumped into India during 2009-2010, mostly from the USA and Europe’s Christian organisations to NGOs in India.

    The report, approved by Union Home Secretary R K Singh in January 2012, revealed that major donors from abroad and receivers in India are Christian Missionaries and Church-sponsored NGOs. The four largest donors are all evangelical Christian organisations who have a professed goal to convert people to Christianity. The list of foreign donors is topped by the Gospel For Asia Inc of the USA (Rs 232.71 crore) followed by Fundacion Vicente Ferrer, Barcelona, Spain (Rs 228.60 crore), the World Vision Global Centre of the USA (Rs 197.62 crore) followed by Compassion International of US, (Rs 131.57 crore).

    An analysis of the Home Ministry’s 42-page report brings out that 14,233 Indian NGOs received foreign contribution of Rs 10,337.59 crore. Around 18% of it came to Delhi, 16% to Tamil Nadu and 13% to Andhra. Among districts, nearly 8.5% went to Chennai, 7% to Bangaluru and 6% to Mumbai. Maximum funds came from USA (Rs 3,105.73 crore) followed by Germany (Rs 1,046.30 crore) and the UK (Rs 1,038.68 crore). The other toppers are Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, Canada, France, Australia and UAE.

    The highest amount of foreign contribution was received by the World Vision of India, Chennai, Tamil Nadu (Rs 208.94 crore), followed by the Rural Development Trust, Ananthapur, AP (Rs 151.31 crore), and Shri Sevasubramania Nadar Educational Charitable Trust, Chennai (Rs. 94.28 crore). The NGO’s show these rupees to be spent on philanthropic causes. The report says that the highest amount of foreign contribution was received and utilised for establishment expenses, rural development, welfare of children, etc. However, the report categorically mentions that the NGO sector in India is vulnerable to the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing and necessary steps for rigorous enforcement as well as coordination with foreign countries for law enforcement will continue.


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